FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Times are tough for low-wage workers

As businesses have struggled to stay afloat, low-wage workers increasingly have endured the consequences. Many have had their hours cut and sometimes are even forced to work off the clock. Others have been stiffed out of pay when businesses abruptly closed. And, some have been subjected to bosses who fire them for taking a day off to care for a sick child or family member. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida has huge role as presidential campaign enters home stretch

With the finish line finally in sight, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney have raced off on a punishing, two-week sprint through Florida and other battleground states, with the White House the prize that awaits the winner. Florida remains one of the most fiercely contested states in the country and could once again decide the winner. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Gary Tice returns to community banking

In January 2005, after Fifth Third Bank purchased his Naples-based First National Bank of Florida for $1.5 billion, Gary Tice retired — or at least he tried to. As soon as the deal’s four-year non-compete clause expired, Tice got back into banking, joining former First National partner and current state Sen. Garrett Richter to create another community bank, this one called the First National Bank of the Gulf Coast. Full story...

Voters to decide whether cities can offer tax breaks to business

Call for Entries

Seeking nominations for the Governor's Innovators in Business Awards

The awards recognize businesses for making noteworthy contributions toward Florida's economic development efforts. The nomination of a business can be made by a local or regional economic development organization, or a professional or industry association. Self-nominations are also acceptable.

Deadline for nominations is Friday, Oct. 26. Go to Enterprise Florida's website to register, and for more information.


Economic-development referendums in five Central Florida cities could best be described as "keeping-up-with-the-Joneses" measures. All five questions on the Nov. 6 ballot would empower city commissions to offer property-tax breaks to build business. That authority already is available in more than two dozen other communities statewide. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Plan for new Florida license plates put on hold

Florida's chief motor vehicle official has put the brakes on proposed changes to the state's license plates after tax collectors objected to a new method for distributing them. Julie Jones, executive director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, wanted the plates redesigned to make it easier for toll and red light cameras to read them because the state and local governments are losing millions due to illegible tags. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times and the AP.


› Governor Scott celebrates business growth in Gainesville
Governor Scott was recently given a tour of Prioria Robotics future home by Bryan da Frota, CEO of Prioria, as well as a demonstration of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) being developed at Prioria. da Frota presented the product to Gov. Scott and First Lady Ann Scott who learned about the benefits of the product and how it can be utilized for different purposes.

› Leaders stress arts are big business in Sarasota County
Armed with a study showing the arts have a $180 million impact on Sarasota County’s economy, culture and business leaders on Tuesday urged the community to embrace and build on the findings.

› City of Miami waives job qualifications for high-ranking staffers
Stephen Petty had neither government experience nor a CPA when he applied for the No. 2 job in the city of Miami’s finance department earlier this year. It didn’t matter. City Manager Johnny Martinez waived both requirements. Petty is one of at least 17 city officials who have been hired since 2010 without meeting the minimum qualifications for the job.

› West Palm Beach to get land back from Digital Domain
The city of West Palm Beach expects to recoup its prime downtown site from what remains of Digital Domain, a company that promised, before it went bust, to put Florida on the movie-making map.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Bogus letters question Florida voters' citizenship

The state has launched a criminal investigation of bogus letters sent to at least dozens of Florida voters suggesting they won't be allowed to vote unless they prove they are U.S. citizens. The letters, received by voters in at least 23 counties so far, falsely claim to be from county elections supervisors and demand proof of citizenship within 15 days.

› Palm Beach boat show adds $77 million to South Florida economy, study shows
Marine industry leaders envision a Palm Beach International Boat Show that could rival Fort Lauderdale’s boat show going on this weekend.

› Sarasota County says no to food truck on Siesta Key
A food truck promising gourmet gumbo and specialty mashed potatoes to late night patrons of Siesta Key Village proved to be too controversial for the tiny entertainment district.

› UM reports it adds $6B to South Florida economy
After a bruising year, UM commissions a report to make its case as a driver of growth. A report shows a $2 billion increase in UM’s impact since the recession began in 2007.